It’s been since 1985 that restaurants and bars in Indiana were banned from hosting happy hours. That all changed on July 1, 2024 thanks to Governor Eric Holcolmb who passed Indiana House Bill 1086 which allows alcoholic beverages to be served at discounted prices during certain hours – no more than four hours per day, 15 hours per week, and never between 9pm - 3am. On the eve of the happiest of hours returning to Fort Wayne, some of my favorites were gearing up. Some of them had their plans in place, while others were still in the process at the time of writing this story. So, follow your favorites on social media as they update their plans. Here’s to knowing that happiness doesn’t really come in a glass, but saving a few bucks at one of these favorites can’t hurt.  

Birdie's Rooftop Bar


Brought to you by the co-founder Vera Bradley, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Birdie’s is perched atop The Bradley – Fort Wayne’s first boutique hotel. While this rooftop bar and restaurant offers a bird’s eye view of downtown Fort Wayne, its cocktail menu features drinks such as Murder of Crows – vodka, blood orange, orange bitters, egg white, and The Phoenix – Doctor Bird rum, allspice dram, luxardo cherry. Except for the Silly Goose which serves four people for $35, all cocktails are regularly priced $13 and under. While happy hour details are still to be determined, you can bet on it singing like a bird. 


Locals may remember the early days of Bravas in 2012 when it was a local favorite food truck. The brick-and-mortar restaurant first opened in 2020, but the pandemic temporarily killed those plans. Bravas came back better than ever in 2023 at its new Fairfield Ave address. Known as “a weird, Spanish American restaurant,” you’ll find out quickly that weird is all good. It all started with a Spanish staple – Patatas Bravas. Trust me, you won’t stop here. From croquettes and BBQ carrots to berenjena and txistorra chips, the tapa-forward menu also offers a selection of smash burgers and hot dogs. Look for a selection of European wines to headline the happy hour offerings. 

Chance Bar

Whether you have an adventurous palate, or you’re more of a meat-and-taters kind of person, chances are good that you’ll find something on the seasonal menu worth the wager. The restaurant vows that “The bar rail is ideal for trying a new wine or having an old favorite with a small plate or a snack. Full-service dining is also available at the bar.” Happy Hour is planned for Friday - Sunday 4:30-5:30pm with half off local beers, 2 Tom’s, Bad Dad, Hop River, plus house wines: Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio.

Copper Spoon

If you know anything about Copper Spoon, it’s the restaurant’s nationally recognized bar program receiving accolades from Wine Spectator and Spirited Awards – paving the way for some of the finest bartenders and cocktails in the Midwest. All juice, syrups, and infusions are prepared in-house by the Copper Spoon prep team using the highest quality ingredients, and each spirit is thoughtfully selected. Its locally sourced food menu showcases many of the area’s farms in dishes such as the Wood Farms Smash Burger and  Hoffman’s Chicken Breast. And, as a side note, you can expect some of the same levels of excellence from its sister, Sidecar located next door. Beyond its Winedown Thursdays and Spirit of the Month programs, happy hour promises to be just as fun. 


Known as a neighborhood cocktail tavern focusing on French cuisine, Dana’s is located in a district known as The Landing which dates to the 1800s when Fort Wayne first became a city. From the same folks which have brought Fort Wayne Penny Drip and Night Train, which have garnered top honors such as Best American Bar Team and World’s Best Cocktail Menu, Dana’s is on track to follow its sisters’ footsteps. Happy hour will happen seven days a week 4-5 pm offering 50% off her entire beverage menu, including cocktails, beer, and wine. Then you can come back for a late-night nosh from 11 pm - midnight with 50% off her entire food menu. Night Train will also participate in happy hour seven days a week from 6-7 pm with 50% off all cans, including beers, wines, and seltzers.

Meal at Junk Ditch Brewing Company

Junk Ditch Brewing Company

Located in the old Korte Paper Factory warehouse, you’ll find somewhat of a unicorn where the food and beer are equally impressive. The food menu is about as local as you can get as ingredients are sourced literally from the backyard and beyond. And, while the house drafts can rival any other craft brewery in the area, Junk Ditch also features guest brews along with a thoughtful selection of wines. I hate to use such a cliche, but there is literally something for everyone in this joint. But, I swear you’ll suffer some serious FOMO if you don’t order the sausage and mushroom pizza for the table whether it’s happy hour or not. 


What started as a food truck, this Mexi-Cali gem located in The Landing district is a small taste of the West Coast lifestyle featuring its riffs on Chicano staples such as tacos, Pachola burgers, and other chef-driven offerings. On the bar side of things, it's all about Agave spirits that highlight the distillation traditions of Mexico. But, do not pass go without sipping on a Mercado Margarita. Happy hour offerings will include margaritas, carne asada fries, palomas, and other small plates. Its neighboring sister restaurant – Papi’s Pizza – will be serving special-priced draft beer, margaritas, margherita pizzas, and bruschetta. Other details are in the works. 


Translated as “new beginnings'' in Thai, NAWA is a go-to for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails located at The Landing. NAWA features cocktails such as Phrik Daeng- blood orange infused El Buho Mezcal & Camarena Silver Tequila, yellow Chartreuse, Thai hot pepper syrup, agave, lemon, orange bitters, and Lichitini - Ki No Bi Gin, Lichi Liqueur, lime juice, and Lichi syrup. From the kitchen, it’s not just about the curries, although I’ve never met a curry that I didn’t like. The pork belly bun and pineapple fried rice are a couple of local favorites. While NAWA hasn’t weighed in on their happy hour yet, it’s sure to be a hit. 

Penny Drip

A coffee + cocktail bar offering a variety of beverage-related products, all in the heart of Downtown Fort Wayne, Penny Drip is a Be Better Hospitality brainchild just like its siblings – Dana’s and Night Train. Serving breakfast through dinner, happy hour will be a welcomed addition, running Sunday-Thursday, 3-6 pm offering 50% off old fashioneds, espresso martinis, spritzes, highballs, wine, and draft beer. Adjacent to Penny Drip, you can even get a haircut at The Executive Barbershop. Hey, If they say that when you look good, you feel good, a cocktail can only make it better. 

Bartender at Rune BarRune Restaurant

As Fort Wayne’s latest hotspot for fine dining, Rune Restaurant opened its doors in March 2024 located in the 46807 neighborhood. The rotating seasonal brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus showcase regionally sourced ingredients with bold flavors, minus the fuss. The menu also features foraged ingredients from a certified forager. Rune highlights magnums of unique wines that are offered “by the glass only” while they last each Thursday for $8. Happy hour will join the offerings each Saturday from 5-6 pm serving cocktails and wine by-the-glass specials, grilled meat skewers by the piece, and oysters on the half shell with a seasonal mignonette by the piece.